February 27, 2020
A multistate outbreak of E. coli infections may be traced to clover sprouts served at Jimmy John's restaurants.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a food safety alert Wednesday after 14 people from five states reporting falling ill after they ate clover sprouts on a Jimmy John's sandwich. None of the victims have been hospitalized.
The food safety alert came just days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned the national sandwich chain about its ties to repeated E. coli and salmonella outbreaks.
Jimmy John's has been linked to at least five outbreaks in the last seven years, the FDA said in a letter sent Feb. 21. The agency questioned whether the chain had taken proper measures to ensure the safety of its produce.
In response to the current outbreak, Jimmy John's stopped serving clover sprouts Monday.
The CDC is investigating the original source of the contaminated sprouts and working to determine whether the same sprouts were served by other restaurants or retailers.
E. coli cases have been reported in Illinois, Iowa, Utah, Missouri and Texas since early January.
CDC officials advise consumers to discard any leftover sandwiches from Jimmy John's. Anyone with symptoms of E. coli should contact their health care provider and report their illness to their local health department.
E. coli symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. They usually last 5-7 days and begin 2-8 days after infection.
Jimmy John's, based in Illinois, has more than 2,800 locations across the United States. Most of them are franchise-owned.